Shinji Matou (間桐 慎二, Matō Shinji?) is the acting Master of Rider in the Fifth Holy Grail War of Fate/stay night. He is merely using the Servant of his adopted younger sister, Sakura Matou due to his inability to use magecraft. He has been a friend of Shirou Emiya for a number of years. He has an open crush on Rin Tohsaka, but she does not return his interest, much to his frustration.




Shinji as a child in Carnival Phantasm

Due to the thinning of their bloodline, the Matou are no longer capable of producing heirs naturally capable of sorcery. This led Byakuya, the eldest son of Zouken Matou, to marry a woman with an "inheritor" sorcery trait, who later gave birth to his son, Shinji. Unfortunately, Shinji was incapable of sorcery.

In the Fourth Holy Grail War, Byakuya sent him to study abroad. Because of that he does not know that his uncle Kariya participated and died, probably because Byakuya (who despised Kariya) chose to hide this fact from him.

The manga adaptation, Character Material and the Heaven's Feel scenario reveals more details about his past. A young Shinji concluded by himself that he had the right to be the heir, despite fully knowing that he had no powers at all. This did little to dissuade Shinji's determination to become the successor, the boy instead convincing himself that he was special. Shortly after, Sakura Tohsaka was adopted into the Matou family and introduced to Shinji as his new sister. At first he was against this because he didn't want 'outsiders' coming into his family but later grew to like and accept her, though due to his selfish, arrogant nature, he refused to show it and picked on her. This ended abruptly when he accidentally entered the room where Sakura was infested by Zouken's worms, causing Byakuya (who had been hiding the truth from him all along) to become distant with him. From that point onwards, his attitude with Sakura became harsher, and he started treating her like an object to do with as he pleased.

Sakura, in a mixture of pity and guilt, silently accepted Shinji's abuse, which he mistook for her submitting to him. Some time later Byakuya died and Shinji realized he was alone because Zouken only focused on training Sakura and she kept pitying and apologizing to Shinji. All of this caused him to have a breakdown and later lead to Shinji brutally raping Sakura of his own volition, believing he had the right to do it after being treated with contempt recently. During middle school he met Shirou Emiya, who did menial tasks for people free of charge, and despite Shinji deriding him as an idiot from behind his back, he hung around with him until he was done. At the end of the day, Shinji laughed as if he was having a good time, and exclaimed, "You may be an idiot, but you sure do good work, at least!". They started an estranged friendship and frequently invited him over to his house to hang out.[2]

A year before the events of Fate/stay night, after Shirou was injured in an accident, Sakura started getting close to him. Shinji disapproved of this, fearing that Sakura will start turning against him. When the Fifth Holy Grail War started, he was resigned to his situation, but after noticing that Sakura, who had just summoned Rider, did not want to fight, he persuaded Zouken into letting him enter the war by controlling Rider, all in an attempt to prove to Zouken that he was not useless and that he could be the Matou family heir instead of Sakura. His wish was to acquire the ability to utilize magecraft.


  • Casual

Much like his father, Byakuya, Shinji has curly blue hair and gray blue eyes. Due to his hair style looking like a seaweed, he has been given the nickname Wakame (ワカメ?).

During school, he wears the standard Homurahara uniform.

His casual clothing consists of a white and black jacket, a black shirt and blue jeans.

His clothing as a younger boy varies in the manga and in the non-canon Carnival Phantasm. In the latter, his clothing consists on a white shirt with a red bow tie, a gray waistcoat and black shorts. His hair was also messier at that time.


Shinji is haughty and known for having a nasty temper. He does not take any sort of rejection well. As noted by Shirou, he is an ironic yet honest person. He is also violent, controlling, and manipulative, as illustrated by his relationship with his younger sister, though this spawns from a sense of inferiority towards her, and can ultimately be attributed to negligence on the part of his parents.

Though he is selfish and has the bad habit of looking down on other people, he has some faintly redeeming qualities. He values rules (but he does not follow them himself), and he hates injustice (if he's not the one responsible). Due to the gap between his "ideal world" and the world he actually lives in, his personality has become warped, but when Shirou first made his acquaintance four years ago he was not nearly as bad as he is now.[2]

It seems Shinji and Shirou's friendship was close, though Shinji often made fun of him, he socially assassinated anybody that took advantage of Shirou in the shadows. However, for a temperamental genius like Shinji, even a friend of many years is not safe from suddenly becoming his enemy for incomprehensible reasons. Basically, he's the kind of person that's reliable when he's on your side but ends up being really troublesome if he turns on you.[2]

Character Material reveals that he is not as haughty as he looks like in the visual novel. After becoming a Master he felt more lenient and more full of himself, so he becomes more violent during the Grail War. If he survives the war, he returns to his old self, as shown in the Unlimited Blade Works route, where he starts getting along with Sakura again like when they were young, No fundamental changes in his personality after his near death experience but since a great burden was lifted off his back especially his obsession with sorcery, he will be able to enjoy life as a fussy, loudmouthed, smarter-than-average, troublesome person.[3]

In Fate/hollow ataraxia, where he is still abrasive, though to a lesser degree, and he becomes delusional, who often sulks about everything. He truly appreciates Shirou, but due to his arrogant attitude, he refuses to show it.

Since Sakura eats at the Emiya home, he'd rather eat at some Italian restaurant and flirt with girls than eat in his own home.[4]


Shinji disrespects Rider and thinks of her more as a pet than a person. He insults and touches Rider to his heart's content while still expecting loyalty and protection in return. If he loses a fight, he will blame the loss on Rider's inadequacy as a Servant.
Rin Tohsaka
Shinji feels a sense of entitlement towards Rin and frequently ignores her clear rejections to his advances. He wants Rin to submit to him and is willing to go for sexual abuse in order to acquire her. His attempts are foiled by Lancer in the Unlimited Blade Works (route).
Sakura Matou
Shinji resents Sakura for being the Matou heir and abuses her frequently, both physically and sexually. He is content with being a Master in Sakura's stead.


Fate/stay nightEdit

Shinji is very popular as the vice-captain of the Archery Dojo despite his personality.

Near the beginning of the 5th Holy Grail War, Shinji acquires Sakura's Servant, Rider, and becomes a temporary Master. He is initially depicted as an evil and deceptive character, but as the story moves along his character begins to show cowardly and even pathetic qualities.


  • Shinji in the Fate/stay night anime
  • Shinji is killed by Berserker

Shinji tries to partner with Shirou, but Shirou declines the offer. Shinji later finds out that Shirou has already partnered with Tohsaka and gets angered, trying in vain to turn Shirou and Rin against one another. When he persists in his attempt to partner with Rin, she punches him in the face and tells him she trusts Shirou more than she would ever trust Shinji.

He later tricks Shirou into coming to school, to trap him there as he forces Rider to activate her Blood Fort Andromeda. Shirou is able to hold on and tries to reason with Shinji, but he does not listen and orders Rider to kill him. Rider's blade is unable to deal Shirou a killing blow, so she kicks him out of the window. Shirou calls out to Saber and the two servants fight. Shirou defeats Shinji, forcing him to call off Blood Fort. Shirou and Saber travel through town trying to find Shinji and Rider but are unsuccessful at first. After finding them, Rider and Saber start fighting and in the end Saber is forced to unleash her Noble Phantasm, Excalibur, to defeat Rider. After losing Rider and his Book of False Attendant is burned, Shinji escapes the building, only to be murdered by Illya and Berserker.

Unlimited Blade WorksEdit

Shinji Ufotable Unlimited Blade Works

Shinji Matou in the Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] anime.

In the Unlimited Blade Works route, he loses Rider when she is killed by Souichirou Kuzuki. Shinji's failure and loss of Rider results in him approaching Kirei Kotomine, who lends him Gilgamesh as a Servant. Some details of his past are revealed, like the fact he hates his father, Byakuya, for hiding the truth about the real heir of the Matou family and that he hates his own mother (whose corpse is revealed to be at the worms storage) for giving birth to him without Magic Circuits. Gilgamesh quickly notices that Shinji has no idea about the Grail and realizes that he thinks it is just a game. He takes advantage of it and manipulates Shinji into killing Illya.

After Lancer kills Kirei, Shinji tries to rape Rin (in the visual novel, he also tries to make her partner with him, despite Rin's warnings that he is just being used by Gilgamesh) only to be pricked in the arm by Lancer's Gáe Bolg. He escapes and has a mental breakdown in which he imagines himself ripping off the arms of everyone. Gilgamesh appears and ignoring Shinji's protests, implants Illya's heart inside of him in order to use him as a new vessel for the Holy Grail. It results in him being forced to endure a mass of flesh growing from his body. He is rescued by Rin and is eventually hospitalized. According to Shirou, Shinji returns to his old self, thus getting along with Sakura again.

Heaven's FeelEdit


Shinji takes Sakura hostage

In Heaven's Feel, his past and his torn relationship with Sakura is expanded. After losing Rider in a fight against Saber, Zouken comments that Shinji is much more worthless and pathetic than Byakuya. This infuriates him and in an attempt to show Zouken that he can be the heir instead of Sakura, he becomes more manipulative, frustrated and violent towards Sakura.

He later tries to take Sakura back home by force only to be stopped by Shirou. The next day, the ill Sakura wants to walk to school with Shirou, but he declines. Shinji takes advantage of this and kidnaps Sakura with the help of Rider, because he has another new Book of False Attendant. He orders Shirou to go to school without Saber if he wants Sakura back. When Shirou arrives to school, he is forced to reinforce himself in order to fight Rider alone. Rider is fairly weakened and starts disobeying Shinji's orders. After Shinji orders Rider to kill Shirou, the hostage Sakura screams and Shinji's Book of False Attendant is burned again. At that moment, Rider becomes more powerful and it is revealed that Sakura is the principal Master of Rider, who was summoned several days prior to the start of the 5th Holy Grail War. However, under pressure from Shinji and the desire not to fight either Shirou or Rin, Sakura yielded her Master's right to him, although Sakura retains her original Command Mantra.

With Shinji losing two of Sakura's Command Spells and without his Book of False Attendant, he has no control over Rider. Shinji has a breakdown and orders Sakura to help him kill Shirou and Rin, to which Sakura declines.


Shinji is killed by his own sister

Shinji remembers how his father and sister hid the truth about the heir of the Matou family from him for seven years, which resulted in his father becoming harsh and causing Shinji to hate Sakura. Soon after, Shinji has an ultimate mental breakdown and blames Shirou and Sakura for his disgraces, deciding that he will break Sakura on his own. Shinji pours a substance on Sakura that causes her to go haywire before fleeing the school.

Sakura arrives in the Matou house in order to find Zouken and to force him into ending her life. However, Shinji appears and tries to rape Sakura again, blackmailing her into staying with him by telling Shirou about her history of being raped by him for the last three years. This ultimately causes Sakura to kill Shinji, and after realizing she is "The Shadow", Sakura becomes Dark Sakura.

It is eventually revealed that Shinji's actions in the whole route were orchestrated by Zouken in order to further his schemes for Sakura, and that he was being manipulated the whole time.

After the war, the Holy Church covered Shinji's death as a casualty of the Holy Grail War.[5]


In the manga version of Fate/stay night (which follows a fusion of the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works scenarios along with a quarter of elements from the Heaven's Feel scenario while ultimately following the Fate scenario), Shinji seems to openly show a liking towards Shirou and though he is still physically and verbally abusive towards Sakura, he never rapes her. He tries to make Shirou partner with him, but gets angry after discovering that Shirou has already allied with Tohsaka. He also becomes more paranoid believing everyone is trying to hide facts from him (which becomes justified after his past is revealed). After Ayako warns him that he is on the verge of being expelled from the club, he has a breakdown and orders Rider to attack Ayako and to use Bloodfort Andromeda to kill everyone at school.

Shinji is stopped by Shirou and the two fight, where Shinji reveals openly that he is jealous of him. After being defeated by Saber and Shirou, Shinji falls from a building, despite Shirou's attempts to save him. However Sakura, who was watching the whole fight from afar, uses her last Command Spell to make Rider save his life. Shinji is surprised by her action, because he always believed that she hated him for abusing her for the last three years and that she just saved him for being Shirou's friend. However, Sakura shows that she still cares about him and both walk home together. He is later hospitalized and meets Ayako, who was also hospitalized. After a short talk, Ayako tells him that she really was not planning on expelling him in the first place. When he tries to say that he was the one who almost killed her, she does not believe him and forgives him instead. However, Shinji feels that he does not deserves to be forgiven so easily after all he has done. When he returns to his room he sees Sakura bringing some flowers and Shinji apologizes for everything to her. Like in the visual novel, after those events, he returns to his old self. He is currently in the hospital being taken care of by Sakura and has not appeared since.

His background is a bit different because Byakuya went as far as trying to hide Shinji about the magical background of the family to no avail and he is portrayed a more sympathetically because Zouken does not appear. Also, Kirei was the one who convinced him to enter the Holy Grail War.

Fate/hollow ataraxiaEdit

In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Shinji is alive alongside Zouken. It is eventually revealed that Sakura assumed control of the Matou household, and both Shinji and Zouken are terrified of her. He retains his haughty attitude, but because the 5th Holy Grail War had already ended, he is disillusioned about being the head of the family and has finally realized that being a Magus is not worth it. He is also nicer to Shirou now, as he does not consider him a rival anymore.

In a strange scene, he complained to Shirou in a scene that Sakura had more scenes than him and compared himself to Zouken, Byakuya and Kariya, commenting that they all sulked about their lives because they all were Matous. His appearances are mostly for comic relief

Rider describes Perseus, the slayer of Medusa, as a Shinji who succeeded.

Fate/tiger colosseum seriesEdit

  • End of Shinji's route
  • Dark Sakura Ending
  • Neco-Arc Ending

Like in Fate/hollow ataraxia, Shinji's appearances are for comic relief and he has been reduced to a gag character. Also, Sakura and Rider now mistreat him and he has become terrified of them.

In Shinji's end, after he obtains the Grail, he wishes for all the girls to fall in love with him (which was a parody of his end route in the Hanafuda game in Fate/hollow ataraxia). After some minutes, the spell vanishes and Sakura and Rider, realizing what he did, glare at him.

Capsule ServantEdit

Capsule Servant - shirou rin true end

True Ending in Capsule Servant.

In both Shirou and Rin route, Shinji first appears as a tutorial character in the stage 01. He was originally planned to be the boss character “General Shinji” but for various reasons was demoted to the tutorial punching bag. He was hoping that the developers would establish that he was a pure hearted and still a relatively good boy in elementary school. Shirou feels sympathetic for Shinji, while Rin hates wakame. Sakura desires to avenge Shinji but she describes his hair gross like wakame.

In G-SAKURA story "ULTIMATE WEAPON S NUMBER ONE" (超兵器S壱号, Chō Heiki S Ichigō?), there is multiple Shinji in Dimensional Empire MATO (時空帝国マト, Jikū Teikoku Mato?). General Shinji (シンジ大将軍, Shinji Daishōgun?) is one of the top brass of the MATO empire, he finds Professor Tokiomi betraying the MATO Empire when he built G-SAKURA. In Rin route, General Shinji uses General Shinji Beam against Professor Tokiomi and "kills him". In both route, G-SAKURA squashes General Shinji. In Rin route, Cosmic General Shinji (シンジ宇宙将軍, Shinji Uchū Shōgun?) was re-modeled to have an evolved IQ of 5800 and he intentionally arrived late to take advantage of Rin and G-SAKURA fatigue after they fought amongst themselves. He claims that they have fallen right into his trap and sends his combatant Clone Shinjis (クローンシンジ, Kurōn Shinji?) to fight them. Both Rin and G-SAKURA defeated the Shinji clones.

Shinji also appears in Shirou's Celebloomers story, he recognizes Celebloomers as the reigning champion of the Capsule Servant Battle. Shinji tells Shirou that Celebloomers-san is the Capsaba champ who uses the orthodox financial-power style, famous for annihilating her opponents with a deck put together by using money. Shinji lectures Celebloomers that Capsaba is a battle of bonds where you and your Servants communicate with your hearts. Celebloomers tells them to die and challenges Shirou. Celebloomers tells Leysritt to clean up wakame.

Carnival PhantasmEdit


Shinji in Carnival Phantasm

In Carnival Phantasm, he makes small appearances in the first episodes but he has a major appearance in Episode 6, called Type-Moon Serial TV Novel Sakura. Shinji has been reduced to a gag character, often bullied by the cast, with the exception of Sakura. He also can be from nice to violent towards Sakura, going from complimenting her cooking to beating and even trying to rape her.

Today's Menu for Emiya FamilyEdit

Shinji appears in Today's Menu for Emiya Family, not as a villain but as Sakura's aloof brother. In Episode 5, Sakura gets to cook food with Shirou. She takes what she learned back home to make food for Shinji, which she leaves on the dining table for him to find. Shinji is shown to obviously like the meal.


Main article: Major Matou Shinji appears as Major Matou (間桐少佐, Matō-shōsa?) during the Strange Tales of the Imperial Holy Grail, acting as the Master of Berserker.

Other appearancesEdit

He was briefly mentioned by Byakuya in the original Fate/Zero novel, his only child was sent overseas in the name of studying.[6]

Shinji Matou in the Fate/EXTRA world is a different person but they share the same name. Shinji in the real world is a child but his digital avatar is based on this Shinji.

In Type-Moon's April Fools' Day 2008, he is a referee in the T Moon Fighting Spirit (Tムーン 闘魂, T Mūn Tōkon?). He was knocked out by both Dynamite Rin and Great Luvia powerful drop kicks. The referee had always been an unreasonable judge, and karma may take a while to manifest but it always does in the end. While being carried away to a hospital, he stated that he had a feeling this might happen.

In Type-Moon's April Fools' Day 2009, is a fake movie theater site listing a number of parody films. He was featured in the animated film Papillon Shin-chan ~I call for sleepiness! Spicy shaggy Kingdom~ (パピヨンしんちゃん〜眠気を呼ぶ!激辛モジャモジャ王国〜, Papiyon Shin-chan ~Nemuke wo Yobu! Gekikara Mojamoja Ōkoku~?), a parody film of Crayon Shin-chan.

In Type-Moon's April Fools' Day 2010, Tmitter is a fake online social networking, a parody of Twitter. His online user account is @Shinji_tm41.


Shinji book

Shinji using the Book of False Attendent

Shinji, like Shirou, is unskilled in magic, but unlike the latter, Shinji does not have any particular abilities aside from some archery skills. His mother had a Carrier Sorcery Trait like the Fraga family, but the pathogen is nothing special like the Fraga's ability to use a Noble Phantasm. According to Zouken, she was just the daughter of "a random third-rate magus."[7] While the Matou mage bloodline has died out, Shinji still has latent Magic Circuits, where Ilya's heart had forcibly open Shinji's atrophied Magic Circuits when he was used as a new vessel for the Holy Grail.

Because Shinji is not Rider's true Master, he must use an item created by combining the Matou family Crest Worms with the command spells of Rider's true Master known as the Book of False Attendent. The book, which acts as a provisionary command spell, allows Shinji to control Rider and, due to Shinji's incompetence, was made twice by Rider's original Master. Because it is not a true command spell, it burns if it is used beyond its limits or if Rider is destroyed. In the Fate scenario and the anime, while the book seemingly allowed for Shinji to use a form of magecraft that fired shadows at his opponents, the shadows were weak, and even an incompetent Shirou using a reinforced broom was able to cut them away.


Originally there was going to be "Shinji route", an option to accept his invitation to join forces in the Fate route, players would have gotten to see a bit of Shinji's good side. But with the tight schedule with the deadline has forced them to cut it.[2] While not present in-game, the script files contain a joke about Shirou teaming up with Shinji.[8]


Takashi Takeuchi said that among the Fate/stay night characters, Shinji and Gilgamesh are the strongest Moe characters.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
  3. Fate/Zero - Fate/Zero:Act 14 Part 4: -36:38:09
  4. TYPE-MOON 10th Anniversary Phantasm - p.208
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